GH needs to embrace its offseason

Fall is here, the leaves are changing and cooler weather is in the air. With that comes a slower time for many in Grand Haven, including those who make their livelihoods catering to the thousands of people who make the trek to visit Grand Haven during the summer.
Oct 15, 2013

While it makes sense for shops and boutiques to close for the season, or have more limited hours compared to the summer, one thing is certain: the times are changing for Grand Haven.

No longer is Grand Haven just a summer destination with fun ending once the Coast Guard Festival sails out of town for the year. Instead, the city has embraced more of the season and is bringing in people well past the end of summer.

This is evident with the Salmon Festival — and, more recently, the multi-week ArtWalk celebration, which is aimed at drawing people from all over West Michigan to view the art. Even the middle of winter brings people to town with the annual Winterfest and other activities.

As more festivals and events pop up after Labor Day, it would be nice to see more businesses and shops embrace this and welcome customers into their stores.

Tourists in town to visit the Salmon Festival, ArtWalk and other fall events shouldn’t be greeted with “See You Next Summer” signs and locked doors. Instead, shop owners should consider being open or extending hours during these times.

This is valuable money that could come to the community that is being lost.

Everyone is competing for the almighty dollar, and it would be nice to make Grand Haven more of a year-round destination instead of just the summer months.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



To bad the Christmas Light Show did not work out. That was a golden opportunity to bring people to downtown GH!


I love the offseason. Quiet.


As a person that spends summers in Grand Haven, I agree that the tourists / public need to see more of what Grand Haven has to offer. There are so many places and things that Grand Haven has to offer that even the thousands of tourists in Grand Haven there in the summer have "never" seen! Most of the tourists in Grand Haven are afraid to go any further from the lake than the corner of Washington & Third Street. Many places "East" of this point never see the tourists, so there for do not cash in either!


I have an idea. Let's put together a nice light show on a nearby street with synchronized music and lights. I think that may be a great tool to help support businesses in the off season. Oh wait . . .


As a downtown business owner, I keep the same hours year round. Why should my locals not get convenient hours when the summer season ends? And as a downtown business owner, I was FOR the downtown light show. I was a tad bit disappointed when it said in the paper that the business owners were against it. I spoke with two other business owners and they had never been asked their opinion either. I would've supported the light show.


and now we're back to a small, overbearing group with a moniker making decisions for everyone, again.

I only hope these dolts who made this decision for all business owners downtown are the first one's to go under when there's not enough to go around.

NO vision = NO future.

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